France among Europe’s top three most attractive countries for investment
France’s attractiveness – Communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Economy, Production Recovery and the Digital Sector
Paris, 27 May 2014
The Ernst & Young European attractiveness survey 2014, published this morning, places France in the top three in Europe (second in terms of jobs and third in terms of projects) and consolidates its leading rank in the area of welcoming foreign industrial investment to Europe (since 2011). The growth in the number of foreign investment projects has thus enabled France to return to its 2010 level. The survey identifies a 4.1% growth in the number of international sitings in Europe, with increases of 14.6% in the United Kingdom, 12.3% in Germany and 9.1% in France, and with France in 2013 arresting the decline in the number of investment decisions noted in the same survey in 2011 and 2012.
Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of the Economy, Production Recovery and the Digital Sector, welcomes the results of this new Ernst & Young survey, which give credit to the robust action taken by the government in the past two years to boost competitiveness, maintain and increase the attractiveness of France and encourage job creation. Among the many strengths it recognizes in France, the Ernst & Young survey 2014 highlights the ability to innovate and the French workforce’s calibre and productivity.
France has always been a welcoming country in economic terms; it remains so today, with more than 20,000 foreign companies, accounting for nearly two million jobs, a third of our industrial exports, 20% of entrepreneurial research and one in four jobs in industry. 34% of the investors questioned by Ernst & Young are thinking of setting up or developing activities in France, a figure higher than in the UK and Germany (27%) and in Belgium (20%). It really is a sign of confidence in the future of this country and for its future attractiveness./.
Paris, 28 May 2014
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Minister of the Economy, Production Recovery and the Digital Sector made a statement on France’s attractiveness for foreign investments.
International rankings regularly confirm that France is one of the most attractive countries in Europe for investment, leading to the creation of many jobs. In addition to the country’s capacity for innovation, the rankings show that France’s main strengths are its excellent industrial sectors, numerous world-class companies, tradition of creativity and inventiveness, ability to train and attract talent, and energy independence.
These results are an incentive for the government to continue the policy it is conducting to restore the country’s attractiveness for the benefit of employment and growth. They show that the decisions taken are beginning to bear fruit: the Pact for Growth, Competitiveness and Employment; the future investment plan; the creation of the BPI [Public Investment Bank]; the agreement on job security; the decree to reform vocational training; the 34 sectorial plans for the New Face of Industry in France; the efforts to structure [industrial] sectors; the competitiveness and employment tax credit; the priority given to economic diplomacy and the creation of a major “international cluster” within the government bringing together foreign affairs, foreign trade and tourism.
Most of these measures are operational; they must be continued and extended. The Responsibility and Solidarity Pact will further improve companies’ cost competitiveness, a crucial element in France’s attractiveness as a location. Reducing taxes to support companies, reducing corporation tax rates, lowering payroll deductions in order to reward work better, simplifying the lives of companies and modernizing social dialogue are tasks which are under way and particularly long-awaited by economic decision-makers.
These macroeconomic measures must contribute to a general state of mind that is more favourable towards entrepreneurs and their international development, and therefore to growth and employment.
Regardless of the clichés which persist, in a competitive environment France must remember it is a country at the heart of Europe, open to the world, competitive and innovative, which has embarked on restoring its public finances to a sound footing through structural reforms to support its competitiveness and bolster its attractiveness.
A special effort will be made when it comes to attracting investment from the major emerging countries by stepping up, as a matter of priority, exploration of those countries’ markets, which will be helped by the merging of the Invest in France Agency (AFII) and the French Agency for International Business Development (UBIFRANCE), and by proactively promoting France as a place to do business.
In the next few months the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Minister of State attached to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, responsible for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, will be fully engaged in making [investment] attractiveness a priority of embassies and the diplomatic network, special representatives, those coordinating the priority export groups (better health, a better urban lifestyle, better communication, better eating, better leisure time, better travelling) (1), but also all France’s semi-public and private networks abroad./.
(1) In order to tailor its offer most effectively to foreign demand, France is focusing on sectors where there will be high demand worldwide in the future and has developed a strategy whereby these sectors are grouped under the listed headings.